Hierarchy is the dominant form within the Taxonomy.
The fundamental and frequent structure is hierarchical with 7 Levels. The Taxonomy also contains hierarchical forms with 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 Levels. However, they are all secondary and derived.
A (2009): That is simply an empirical finding at this stage. This is a meta-THEE question, which sits apart from rigorous observation and requires a different form of investigation. Those who fail to see the distinction seem to find such a reply suspicious or suggestive of some sleight of hand, perhaps based on fraudulent numerological beliefs.
A (2013): Having developed the architecture sufficiently, it has become possible to observe and confirm that all structures receive a projection from the Root Hierarchy. So the explanation (conjecture) is that they have 7 Levels because the Root Hierarchy has 7 Levels. The new question becomes: why does the Root Hierarchy have 7 levels?
There are at least seven, possibly eight, known types of THEE 7-level hierarchy: Root, Primary, Principal Typology, Spiral-derived, Q-expansion, Structural, Tertiary, and there may also be a Quaternary. These are described in the next Topic.
All 7-level hierarchies are holistic, i.e. Levels do not manifest independently of the hierarchy. However, the Principal Typologies only reveal their holistic aspect via the contextual values within each Type.
It is not a trivial exercise to discover a named hierarchy with a definite number of named Levels, whose function and properties are known. The steps below are not a method: they are offered to help clarify and explain the nature of a THEE hierarchy.
Identify the entity.
Is it Real?
The entity must be an expression of human action and social life. Be sure that the entity is not a concept. As an example: «inflation» or «GDP» are concepts, while «prices» or a «debt» are real deliberately created social things. An essential criterion: the entity-category should be recognizable by anyone willing to look and should not provoke endless debates.
Clarify the rationale for hierarchy.
Assuming the entity is susceptible to a hierarchical analysis, consider its alternative manifestations, both abstract and concrete.
If the entity seems to be a Level (entity) within an encompassing hierarchy, determine related manifestations (i.e. entities sharing an underlying essence) that either encompass or are encompassed by that entity.
Transitions between Levels, i.e. why functioning at one Level requires and influences functioning in the Level above or the one below, should be apparent in the holistic hierarchies. Explanations should be simple and formulations brief and lucid.
Structural corroboration is relevant.
Determine distinguishing properties via a matrix analysis.
Remember that hierarchies can come with 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 Levels (and possibly more). Any hierarchy in THEE which is less than 7 Levels will probably be located within a 7-level structure.
Be confident that, both empirically and logically, there can be no higher or lower Levels than the extremes identified.
By appreciating in detail just one or two Levels (or types), general properties of the entity are usually suggested. Because it is a system, precise knowledge of just a few cells may help greatly in completing the matrix.
Continually check that names accord well with observations and properties. Be ready to change a provisional name to fit properties—never change a property to fit a name! Two-word names may be required but probably never more.
Remember: Names are not concepts directing and guiding observations, but are chosen to be dependent on observations.
Now consider the varieties of hierarchy in more detail.
Originally posted: August 2009; Last updated 2-Feb-2014.